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In the context of local authorities in the United Kingdom, the term no overall control (abbreviated to NOC) refers to a situation in which no single political group achieves a majority of seats; and is analogous to a hung parliament. Of the 248 councils who had members up for election in the 2019 local elections, 73 (over a quarter) resulted in a NOC administration.
Local government in the United Kingdom has origins that pre-date the United Kingdom itself, as each of the four countries of the United Kingdom has its own separate system. For an overview, see Administrative geography of the United Kingdom. For details, see:
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea separates Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom's 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi) were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.
A hung parliament is a term used in legislatures under the Westminster system to describe a situation in which no particular political party or pre-existing coalition has an absolute majority of legislators in a parliament or other legislature. This situation is also known, albeit less commonly, as a balanced parliament, or as a legislature under no overall control, and can result in a minority government. The term is not relevant in multi-party systems where it is rare for a single party to hold a majority.
Typically, if no party achieves overall control of a council, the largest grouping will form alliances to create an ad hoc governing coalition. Often local authorities have larger proportions of smaller party and independent members than the House of Commons, and when there is no overall control this often results in minor groups having more influence than their numbers alone would suggest.
Ad hoc is a Latin phrase meaning literally "for this". In English, it generally signifies a solution designed for a specific problem or task, non-generalizable, and not intended to be able to be adapted to other purposes.
The term "coalition" is the denotation for a group formed when two or more people, factions, states, political parties, militaries etc. agree to work together temporarily in a partnership to achieve a common goal. The word coalition connotes a coming together to achieve a goal.
The House of Commons, officially the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the upper house, the House of Lords, it meets in the Palace of Westminster. Owing to shortage of space, its office accommodation extends into Portcullis House.
In the result of No-overall Control, the largest party may attempt to govern as a minority administration, such as the Conservatives in Dudley and Thurrock or Labour in Stockport and Brighton and Hove. Parties may also work together to create a formal deal, which can range from a confidence and supply deal to full coalition. Deals, especially the looser kind, can occur between parties which are not traditionally aligned on a national level. For example, a minority Conservative administration was formed in 2019 in Bolton supported by the Liberal Democrats and UKIP whilst a Labour-UKIP formal coalition exists in Basildon. However, following the 2017 Aberdeen City Council election, nine Labour councillors were expelled from the party for entering into a coalition with the Conservatives. Conversely, the two parties formed a coalition administration in Worcester following the 2019 elections.
Dudley is a large industrialised market town in the county of West Midlands, England, 6 miles (9.7 km) south-east of Wolverhampton and 10.5 miles (16.9 km) north-west of Birmingham. The town is the administrative centre of the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley and in 2011 had a population of 79,379. The Metropolitan Borough, which includes the towns of Stourbridge and Halesowen, had a population of 312,900. Dudley is sometimes called the capital of the Black Country.
Thurrock is a unitary authority area with borough status in the English ceremonial county of Essex. It is part of the London commuter belt and an area of regeneration within the Thames Gateway redevelopment zone. The local authority is Thurrock Council.
Stockport is a large town in Greater Manchester, England, 7 miles (11 km) south-east of Manchester city centre, where the River Goyt and Tame merge to create the River Mersey, and the largest in the metropolitan borough of the same name.
It is possible for a council to be under no overall control even when there appears to be an overall majority, in particular in the case of a majority of independents, who commonly have no collective policies when elected. This can also arise when the council members divide on other than party lines. For instance, the 2004 elections to the Isle of Anglesey County Council returned more independents than all others put together, but only Plaid Cymru maintained a party group within the council, and not all of its elected members joined the group. The remainder of the council, including some members of other political parties, formed four non-partisan groups, none of which held a majority. However, the 2008 elections resulted in a group called the Original Independents gaining an overall majority.
The United Kingdom local elections of 2004 were held on 10 June, as part of the 2004 set of elections along with the European elections and the London mayoral and Assembly elections.
The Isle of Anglesey County Council is the governing body for the county of Anglesey, one of the unitary authority areas of Wales. The council has 30 councillors who represent 11 multi-member electoral wards.
Plaid Cymru is a social-democratic political party in Wales advocating Welsh independence from the United Kingdom within the European Union.
A minority government, minority cabinet or minority parliament is a cabinet formed in a parliamentary system when a political party or coalition of parties does not have a majority of overall seats in the parliament. It is sworn into office, with or without the formal support of other parties, to enable a government to be formed. Under such a government, legislation can only be passed with the support of enough other members of the legislature to provide a majority, encouraging multi-partisanship. In bicameral parliaments, the term relates to the situation in chamber whose confidence is considered most crucial to the continuance in office of the government.
In British politics, a Lib–Lab pact is a working arrangement between the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party.
Elections to the Borough Council in Slough, England, were held on 1 May 2008. This was the 123rd Slough general local authority election since Slough became a local government unit in 1863.
Cumbria County Council is the county council of Cumbria, a county in the North West of England. Established in 1974, following its first elections held a year before that, it is an elected local government body responsible for the most significant local services in the county, including county schools, county roads, and social services.
Thanet District Council in Kent, England is elected every four years.
Elections to East Lothian Council were held on 3 May 2012, on the same day as the other Scottish local government elections. The election used the 7 wards created as a result of the Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004, with each ward electing three or four councillors using the single transferable vote system a form of proportional representation, with 23 councillors elected.
The 2012 Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council election took on 3 May 2012 to elect members of Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council in England, as part of the 2012 United Kingdom local elections. 22 seats, representing one third of the total Council membership, were up for election in single-member wards. Ten - nearly half - of the members elected were newcomers to the Council; five of these defeated sitting Councillors seeking re-election, whilst in the other five wards, the incumbent retired. Two incumbents stood under different labels to those they were elected under in 2008; both were defeated in their wards.
The 2014 United Kingdom local elections were held on 22 May 2014. Usually these elections are held on the first Thursday in May but were postponed to coincide with the 2014 European Parliament Elections. Direct elections were held for all 32 London boroughs, all 36 metropolitan boroughs, 74 district/borough councils, 20 unitary authorities and various mayoral posts in England and elections to the new councils in Northern Ireland.
An election to Lincolnshire County Council took place on 2 May 2013 as part of the 2013 United Kingdom local elections. 77 electoral divisions returned one county councillor each by first-past-the-post voting for a four-year term of office. The electoral divisions were the same as those used at the previous election in 2009. No elections were held in North Lincolnshire or North East Lincolnshire, which are unitary authorities outside the area covered by the County Council.
The 2017 Scottish local elections were held on Thursday 4 May, in all 32 local authorities. The SNP retained its position as the largest party in terms of votes and councillors, despite suffering minor losses. The Conservatives made gains and displaced Labour as the second largest party, while the Liberal Democrats suffered a net loss of councillors despite increasing their share of the vote. Minor parties and independents polled well; and independent councillors retained majority control over the 3 island councils. For the first time since the local government reforms in 1995, all councils fell under no overall control.
Elections for the London Borough of Merton were held on 22 May 2014 to elect members of Merton London Borough Council in England. This was on the same day as other local elections in England and an election to the European Parliament.
The 2014 Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council election took place on 22 May 2014 to elect members of Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council in England. This was on the same day as local elections across the United Kingdom and a European election. One councillor was elected in each of the 17 wards for a four-year term. There are three councillors representing each ward elected on a staggered basis so one third of the councillor seats were up for re-election. The seats had previously been contested in 2010 which was held in conjunction with a general election. The turnout was significantly lower in 2014 than in 2010 which is not unusual when comparing local elections that coincide with general elections to ones that do not. Prior to the election Labour was the largest party in the council with 21 out of 51 seats, 5 seats short of an overall majority. After the election there was no overall control of the council. Labour had 25 seats, only one short of a majority and so Labour continued to operate a minority administration.
The 2014 Castle Point Borough Council election took place on 22 May 2014 to elect members of Castle Point Borough Council in Essex, England. One third of the council was up for election and the Conservative Party lost overall control of the council to no overall control.
The 2016 Plymouth City Council election took place on 5 May 2016 to elect members of Plymouth City Council in England. The Conservatives gained one seat from Labour, resulting in both parties having twenty-seven members of the council. A coalition of Conservative and UKIP members took overall control of the Council, having thirty members in total and a working majority.
The 2017 United Kingdom local elections were held on Thursday 4 May 2017. Local elections were held across Great Britain, with elections to 35 English local authorities and all councils in Scotland and Wales.
The 2018 Plymouth City Council election took place on 3 May 2018 to elect members of Plymouth City Council in England. The election was won by the Labour Party, who gained enough seats to achieve an overall majority and took control of the council.
The 2018 Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council election took place on 3 May 2018 to elect members of Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council in England. This was on the same day as other local elections. One councillor was elected in each ward for a four-year term so the councillors elected in 2018 last stood for election in 2014. Each ward is represented by three councillors, the election of which is staggered, so only one third of the councillors were elected in this election. Before the election there was no overall control with a minority Labour administration. Following the election Labour, having gained one councillor, was still two councillors away from a majority so it remained no overall control.
The 2018 Basildon Borough Council election took place on 3 May 2018 to elect members of Basildon Borough Council in Essex. This was on the same day as other local elections. The Conservative Party gained overall control of the council. which had previously been under no overall control and run by a coalition between UKIP, Labour and Independents.
The 2019 Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council election took place on 2 May 2019 to elect the inaugural members of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council in England.